InsideCounsel Features Karl Kronenberger on Consequences of Employees Criticizing Employers Online| Thursday, February 19, 2015
InsideCounsel called upon Karl Kronenberger in the article, “Can employees comment about their employer on social media sites?” to discuss the legal implications of an employee criticizing their employer on the Internet. In some cases, if an employee signs a confidentiality agreement that prohibits them from publishing wage and salary information online, the agreement may not be enforceable under the National Labor Relations Act if the restrictions also restrict discussing wage and salary information with fellow employees. The Act states that an employee has a “right to engage in concerted activity” and a “right to criticize.”
Mr. Kronenberger said, “Confidentiality provisions cannot curtail employees from discussing wages or benefits with fellow employees. Employees are afforded the right to criticize their employer, within reason, to gain support from co-workers or the public on an employment matter.”
Although California law heavily favors employees, many employers and recruiters look at job applicants’ social media profiles, and may even bypass applicants based on what they find. Conversely, some job applicants may not apply to an employer due to negative statements about an employer published online by employees. Thus, employers must carefully draft confidentiality agreements to gain as much protection as possible within the bounds of the law.